Some are skeptical whether or not bringing new businesses to the "College District" of First Avenue in Cedar Rapids will actually upgrade the area, but development companies are trying.

.A new mixed-use development called "Commons On First" is complete and had its ribbon-cutting on Tuesday, featuring an H & R Block tax prep service, Jimmy John's, Scooter's Drive-through Coffee and a laundromat. Further up toward Walgreen's is a brand new Great Western Bank.

Kentucky Fried Chicken is under renovation for an unnamed new tenant and Johnny Boy's Car Wash is looking to expand its current property on First Avenue.

It's a neighborhood that has been rife with police activity and crime. According to KCRG, the Cedar Rapids Police said so far this year, a total of 58 crimes have been reported in the College District neighborhood including 14 thefts and seven burglaries.

The city hopes the new developments, with more to come, will change that.


[Via KCRG]

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